Dunes (fiction)

Christmas cards and songs had told her of a longing for a white Christmas long before Nomai had ever seen snow. Finally she found it – the winter wonderland - dunes of white powder piled as high as her basement bedroom window.

For days now she’d been watching the streetlight illuminated world from that bedroom window, her suburban world silent but for the grinding engines of the daily snowplough and the pizza delivery service.

Her three housemates are gone, each to their own Christmas, return dates marked on the calendar in their shared kitchen. 

At first the silence was welcome, marshmallows floating in large mugs of hot chocolate sipped in front of the TV, in the biggest armchair, the choice of channel all her own. She told herself she was glad to see the back of them. Four months of noise, cold coffee left in the machine, fridge space invaded by strange vegetarian meat substitutes, were for at least a little while, over. Four months of front doors slamming in the middle of the night, of a male whisper answered by, “shhh, they’ll hear you,” followed by the creak of floorboards as two people tiptoed up the ancient staircase.

The three of them were gone, their families well within the reach of trains and budget airlines and hers not, Nomai left behind in charge of an orchid -  bought in full bloom - and two cactus. Christmas lights flickered in the corner on a miniature tree and a straw pig stood on guard in a seasonal bow tie. 

Nomai recalled damp lawns, green and lush, the Christmas sun in the sky, rainclouds braced to strike in the distance – black and grey, thunder and lightening in the distance ready to strike?

But never at Christmas, it never rained on Christmas day. Or was that one the tricks of homesickness, that Christmas days, like mango and wild fruit or Debonair pizza and barbecues, were always perfect?

“I’m back!” called Raina, her entry punctuated by the thud of her suitcase hitting the wooden floorboards.

“Oh hell I forgot - it’s today!” Nomai wiped her eyes and leaped off her bed, running to greet her friend.

image via the minimalist baker

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